Today I wanted to do something a little bit different to usual and talk about pre-orders. Or, more specifically when it is a good idea/value to pre-order a book and when it isn’t. having worked in a bookstore for 4 years I know the industry pretty well. I literally never pay full price for a book. but I know that it can be pretty confusing trying to figure out what is a good deal and what isn’t. so, here is a little guide for you.
My general rule is, unless a book has a pre-order price of half RRP or better, it isn’t worth pre-ordering it. a lot of the time new books (particularly hardbacks) go straight into shops at a reduced price, usually half price. So unless the pre-order is half price, it is worth waiting for the book to be released as you will likely be able to get a better price.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. For instance, paperbacks. If the pre-order price is anywhere under £5, go for it. not many paperbacks get price drops upon release. So, £5 or under is a pretty good price for a paperback.
The other expectation is limited special editions. Or signed editions. Special editions can be anything from a different cover, sprayed edges or bonus material. These are usually very limited in quaintly. Special editions usually don’t get as good a per-order price. Because of this I usually say that unless you specifically want that special edition, don’t bother. If you do want it, I won’t pre-order it unless it is 40% off or better. Unfortunately, special editions are usually exclusive to a specific shop, so you can’t shop around for the best price.
And finally, the best places to pre-order from. The two places with the best prices tend to be Amazon and Waterstones. They tend to have the most offers and the best shipping options. For instance, Waterstones do free click and collect to store. Both of these store also ship really quickly and you often get your book on release day, if not before. Book depository usually price matches amazon but they are slow to ship, but if you aren’t bothered about getting it on releases day, definitely check them out. the one place that I would suggest avoiding is WHSmith’s. While they usually price match amazon as well, their shipping is expensive and unreliable, as is their click and collect to store. I’ve pre-ordered from them several times (I worked there so got staff discount) and never had a good experience. They take ages to dispatch the order (I once had one not dispatched until the book had been out for over a week), the delivery is really slow and more than once I had the book arrive damaged. I just really wouldn’t recommend them.
And there we have it, those are my general rules for pre-orders. So you pre-order? Also, did you enjoy this post? Would you like more posts like it? I have a lot of tricks to save money on books. I really never pay full price. I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again very soon.